It has been two years since world leaders and overseas delegations descended on our city to make binding agreements on the changes needed to save our planet. 

The summit in question, COP26, may feel like a long time ago but the kinds of issues it highlighted will be felt around Glasgow for decades to come. 

Active travel routes for walking, wheeling and cycling now have space on our streets which will benefit generations to come, both in terms of road safety but also the health impacts on our lungs. 

But while hosting COP on our doorstep was a big experience for the city and brought numerous economic and cultural benefits, it can be much harder to get excited about climate negotiations taking place on the other side of the globe. 

COP28 in Dubai has taken place against even more challenging circumstances. A recent UN Environment Programme report warned we are on course for a 3C temperature rise instead of our targeted 1.5C. 

In the midst of a Scottish winter, I know that three degrees warmer can sound attractive but the planet-wide impact of that level of temperature rise is catastrophic. 

This year we continue to break records in all of the worst ways; not only have we had the world’s hottest summer ever, but it was also the hottest year ever recorded. The consequences of humankind’s impact on the earth are more evident than ever with unrelenting extreme weather, deadly heat waves, furious wildfires and devastating flooding reaching all corners of the earth. 

Looking closer to home, communities on our doorstep here in Scotland are now suffering the effects of climate change too. While the North East of Scotland still works to rebuild the towns and villages devastated by Storm Babet back in October, parts of the Highlands will never truly repair the damage caused by ferocious wildfires in our hills and woodlands. That’s just a flavour of the scale of what awaits our children and grandchildren if we can’t change. 

The good news is that the kinds of changes which are good for the climate are also good for people here and now. Warmer homes which are cheaper to heat. Neighbourhoods with more space for community activity and for children to play. Cleaner rivers, canals and beaches. Green spaces for people and wildlife alike. What’s not to like? 

This is exactly why the Scottish Greens are working hard in government, to secure Scotland’s future as a nation ahead of the curve on climate issues. Being part of the government has allowed us to deliver record investment in nature and biodiversity projects and safer routes for walking, wheeling and cycling Scotland-wide. It has also allowed us to make great strides to transform how we heat our buildings, reduce our energy waste and limit our carbon output. 

These are the steps we need every government to commit to and implement, regardless of what is agreed following the haggling at Dubai’s climate conference. While this year’s summit will never match the strength of action I want it to have, we must be hopeful that countries and governments of all sizes continue to take climate change more seriously – before it’s too late.